Stuff Dawn Schafer likes

A few months ago, Stuff White People Like exploded onto the web, and for a while it was a really great satire that actually had some sociological insights. Lately, it is just posts about the author’s appearances and the release of his book at Urban Outfitters. On another note, Dawn used to be my favorite BSC member. She had a haunted passage in her house y’all, and lonmg blond hair. And was so unique! Reading them now, as so many others of you have pointed out, she’s kind of a holier-than-thou pain in the ass. And very, very, white. Let’s see how!


When the poor children of the Zuni tribe of New Mexico are in trouble, it’s Dawn who knows what they need! It’s Dawn who will gather together the supplies they need to survive! It’s Dawn who will find an excuse to spend a whole night with children!

So, Dawn is sitting for the Pikes and she finds that the elementary school has pen pals in New Mexico, and are in a Native American tribe. Why so? To learn about other cultures? I’;; bet Connecticut suburbanites are the ones that need to be studied. Get this- Dawn is JEALOUS. And wishes her school was doing something like that. Really Dawn?

Then, BAM! The kids hear that a fire destroyed their school and some of the town, some people lost their houses and belongings. Dawn decides- how can she make this about HER? How can she fill the void in her heart that can only be filled by a school-aged pen pal? Why, it’s to create a town wide fundraiser! And she gets to organize it all! She even calls the teachers of the elementary school to get involved. Not only do they say yes, but they let Dawn take the lead!

Dawn gets to miss school to go over to the elementary school and make an announcement at the assemby. She practically creams herself at the thought of being the center of attention among six year olds. They start a clothing and items of drive…of course in DAWNS BARN. So she can be involved in every moment.

Gee, how can Dawn appear to be more of a martyr and take up her time with children? Well, have a sleepover with all the kids, of course! They’ll have people donate all the supplies (instead of donating it directly to the Zuni children? I don’t get it). It is to reward the kids who raised the money for the students in New Mexico. Because how else can you say “hey, you have a burned charred pile for a house, but we are fortunate enough to be able to stuff our faces with caramel popcorn all night”. Kids pee their pants and throw up from too much food, but it’s all good fun!

Of course, the teachers of the elementary school agree and love it and volunteer to chaperone. Oh, and to let Dawn and the BSC take charge of it. My parents were both teacher and like hell they would have checked with their union first before doing this. Oh noes! Drama! The pizza guy might not have enough pizzas to feed all the kids! Drama over. He’ll use whole wheat crust. Dawn is a smug panda for forcing the kids to eat “healthy” food.

Claudia? Is that you?

Claudia? Is that you?

BONUS! Claudia outfit: “She walked into school today wearing a bright yellow, oversize man’s jacket with rolled up sleeves; a wide paisley tie straight out of the 1960s; orange stirrup pants,; ankle boots; and huge hoop earrings- and you know what? On her, it looked cool.

I had many pen pals in my day. My favorite was named Cathy, and I loved her letters. That’s because she spun a lot of bullshit. Apparently she was dating a twenty year old (we were twelve at the time) and had lots of drama with her friends that sounded eerily familiar to plots of Sweet Valley High books. She sent me a picture and she was wearing jelly shoes over lacy ankle socks.

Posted in: bsc

33 thoughts on “Stuff Dawn Schafer likes

  1. Sadako says:

    Dawn was def. one of my favorites, but now I have such a rocky love/hate relationship with her. I used to have the game Sim Town on my computer, and I’d often make a Dawn character who’d have long blonde hair…I just thought she was really awesome. But now…oh, Dawn, Dawn, Dawn. You annoy me so. Stop eating tofu, damnit.

  2. Rio says:

    So, is Dawn reminding anyone else of another sanctimonious California-born blonde?

    And, yes, these girls spend WAY too much time with young children. If Ann M. Martin were able to write in realtime, within fifteen years, at least one of them would be arrested for deflowering a 15-year-old boy. I pick Stacey.

  3. Annie says:

    What always bugged me about this book (and it was kind of one of my favorites) was that they never revealed the “phenomenal total” of the money they raised with all the “fundraising”! They just said it was phenomenal. Lame. I remember after reading this book I ran out and bought “Tiger Eyes” because Mary Anne was reading it. That’s how cool I was 🙂

  4. Rio says:

    Not quite the sanctimonious California-born blonde I was thinking of (who I should have mentioned is fictional), EmilyKate . . . but, sure, Gwyneth works.

    Nikki, this is indeed the book with the Pebbles outfit, but that makes more sense than the godawful Austin Powers rip-off described above.

  5. Eli says:

    I was a Stacey fan. Maybe it was the hearts over the i’s, maybe it was the perm, maybe it was the way she was so “big city” (growing up in Indiana, I was fascinated by the East Coast)…but I thought she was v. cool. Of course, I did not read the later books in which she turned into a raging Regina George and did not learn of them until the blogs…my “luv” may have died if 13-year old me had read them.

  6. Alicia E. says:

    In that outfit description, where’s Claudia shirt!?

    It always killed me when the writers went to the trouble of coming up with a crazy outfit and then omitted an important article of clothing, like a shirt or some pants.

  7. maybeimamazed02 says:

    I was Team Dawn and Stacey all the way (being both blonde–like them–and a small-town girl who LOVED the idea of being from NYC or California). Looking back, though, Dawn the supposed “individual” was really the most insecure of all of them (yes, even compared to Mallory). She got incredibly weird about Mary Anne’s haircut/makeover, and completely changed herself for a guy in at least two instances. Individual, my ass.

    Though every time I’m in L.A. visiting my best friend, I do think of my clothes (the same as I wear in Chicago) as “California casual.”

  8. Malika says:

    Also a former team Dawn and Stacey, even though i could find her rather poncy re: halloween party and thinking it was unioque to arrive in a plastic nose, glasses jeans and a t-shirt and Martin claiming it was very unique of her. Oh my….

    Anyways, Claudia’s outfit sounds like she would have been arrested on her way to school and shipped off to the funny farm. Orange leggings!!!

  9. Magpie says:

    I was a Dawn fan as well. I don’t know why, but I largely blame the fact that I liked her story about getting stranded at the airport in “Snowbound”. I also liked Mary Anne at first, but then I found her later to be a bit too perfect.

    WTF is with that Claudia outfit?? I seriously think the writer just closed her eyes, pointed to random items of clothing in a catalogue, and thought, “that sounds sufficiently wacky!”

  10. Bart_Templeton says:

    Wait, that Claudia outfit actually rules. No need ot mention the shirt, IMO, because I figured the men’s jacket covered most of it up.

    So, does anyone else find it *interesting* that so many 80s fashions have come back in retro and hipster (and high fashion) circles, but NOT stirrup pants? Are they just destined to be the red-headed stepchild of clothing?

    I don’t remember aaaany of this plot, certainly nothing about New Mexico, but I do remember loving it (a) because it was relatively early in the series when they sucked less (or I was younger so thought they did), and the cover. I think I vaguely must have known that most 13-year olds were not 5’11 and proportioned like 18 year olds, with 30-year old faces…but the BSC cover artists did nothing to help me come to that conclusion.

  11. Bart_Templeton says:

    “Dawn is a smug panda for forcing the kids to eat “healthy” food.”

    Ha! I do remember thinking “pizza is healthful just because they threw some whole wheat flour in?”

  12. Sadako says:

    Nikki–I think MA was my favorite character, too. Maybe ’cause I was also a shy brunette who lurved animals. And I really liked the makeover episode where she starts getting all the guy attention and stuff. Though these days I tend to dress a lot “wilder” than she would, I suppose.

    And yeah, Dawn’s def way, way, way more insecure than any of the others. I wouldn’t mind except that she goes out of her way to say that she’s all opinionated.

    The only one I never really wanted to be was Kristy because she was kind of boring and I hated sports. Also the way she flipped out any time anyone wanted to branch out and do something non BSC was kind of scary.

  13. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Right now, I’m reading the whole California Diaries series. Dawn’s much more tolerable in these…maybe it’s because she’s in her natural environment. In the first one, she even says how she (gasp!) doesn’t miss baby-sitting. Hope Kristy never got wind of that.

  14. seejanesew says:

    I loved Dawn as a kid, when I started reading these I had recently moved from California to North Carolina and Dawn “reminded me of home.” Whatever, I was 9

    Now that I’m old enough to have a kid that would need a babysitter, there’s no way in hell I’d ever let an 11 year old (much less a 13 year old) take care of my kid. Not for half an hour, not for an hour, and certainly not for a weekend.

  15. Mary-Anne Bruno says:

    I was a Mary Anne fan. She drove me crazy when she was pushover Mary Anne (especially in Mary Anne Misses Logan, I would never have helped him or taken him back after all his dates with Cokie!), but when she stood up for herself (refer to the first BSC fight in Mary Anne Saves the Day) she was awesome. I only didn’t like her on trips, she was SO annoying with sun burning easily and being a walking guide book.

  16. Mary-Anne Bruno says:

    Oh and where in the world did Claudia even find orange leggings? And how could she afford all those high top sneakers on BSC wages? I doubt Mr. and Mrs. Kishi approved enough to buy them. She had them in every color.

  17. Magpie says:

    seejanesew – I totally agree that there is no way I’d let kids of that age babysit for my children if I had any! My boyfriend’s (much younger) siblings are 13 and 11, and they can barely be trusted to be left in the house by themselves, let alone to take care of other, slightly younger children.

  18. Nicole says:

    Aww Dawn was a favourite of mine for a little while because she was a vegetarian (like me) but I think in one of her books she mentioned she was only veg because the thought of eating animal carcuses grossed her out rather than being veg for compassionate reasons. And she was pretty annoying. Pick a coast and stay there for christs sake! Stop whinging! Plus she was a mole to MA over the whole makeover thing.

    Mary-Anne was my other favourite, only really because she was like me – brunette, short and shy. And at least she was the only one that could pull a boyfriend! (who has a long term boyfriend at 13 anyway? did they fool around or just hold hands?)

  19. sunstreakedblonde says:

    I have this bizarre urge to eBay some classic BSC and draw all of the craziest outfits. Starting with this one.

    It always killed me when the writers went to the trouble of coming up with a crazy outfit and then omitted an important article of clothing, like a shirt or some pants.

    I know, right?? If I draw these outfits, I’m just going to make shit up. I ain’t drawing any 13-yr-old girls half-nekkid.

    Rio, I know what CA blonde you’re thinking of! Someone here who’s not me should write a totally cracked-out SVH/BSC crossover. It’d be epic.

  20. hamdinger says:

    So Dawn is basically Elizabeth Wakefield in this one?

    And is Claudia really wearing a MAN’S jacket? Like, adult male size? Wouldn’t it be dragging the ground?

  21. RollingStone says:

    Regarding Claudia’s opinion of hummus: Aren’t there about a million different foods that we could criticize by comparing their appearance to excrement? Like chocolate, for example? Do Goobers and Raisinets remind her of anything? How about Baby Ruth candy bars?

  22. distantsun says:

    I am embarrassed to admit that this was my very favorite BSC book. I hardcore ripped off the plot when I tried writing some BSC proto-fanfiction as a kid (I think I turned it into a mystery, though), and thanks to this book I was completely obsessed with the idea of having a sleepover at school. (My school actually did host one eventually, when I was in sixth or seventh grade… and I didn’t get to go, because I wasn’t in the class it was held for. I was SO miserable. Thanks, BSC, for giving me yet another dream to have crushed…)

  23. al says:

    lol on the claudia clothes quote at the end. you know i remember reading that! Because I read it over several times in horror. But on her i guess it kinda looked cool! :/

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